«The animals feel love, indifference, jealousy, rancor, envy …»

«The animals feel love, indifference, jealousy, rancor, envy ...»


LA RAZÓN publishes today what may have been the last interview granted by Pablo Herreros, which was given to our colleague Marta Robles earlier this week. This morning we knew the sad news of his premature death, right in the middle of campaign to promote his latest book, "The emotional intelligence of animals" (Destiny). This is the interview that has seen the light today in the print and digital edition of our newspaper.

In case anyone had any doubts, animals also feel emotions. Not necessarily in the same way as we, of course, but that does not mean ours are better. Although you have to be disappointed, they are not purer than us. They kiss, they accompany each other, they love each other, but they also betray and cheat. The animals, co-
or human beings, they are not the same. There are good, bad and regular ones. But all, absolutely all, feel and suffer. Like us. Or so says Pablo Herreros. "Yes, they feel And, in addition, a variety of feelings that until now we had not thought about, such as lack of love, falling in love, jealousy, revenge, resentment and even envy."

I do not have to not believe him. I am an "animator," as he says, and the eyes of any animal seem full of intelligence. But I want tests. Know how you can test all this. «Well we can see it through behavior or also with a hormone analysis. That is, when we are happy we generate serotonin, if we do some analysis to the animals and they are also segregating it in the same circumstance or context, we can deduce that there are tests because we have a series of neurophysiological indicators. We can also observe the brain through images. There are several methodologies to access the inner world of animals.

We say animals and think of dogs, cats, horses … In general, mammals … It does not occur to me to think that spiders feel, but will they? "In principle we talk about mammals, but we have also found a variety of hallucinatory feelings in other families, such as, for example, octopus, fish and, of course, birds. The crows do something like duels, funerals to other crows. And there is the experience of a parrot that approached his trainer before he died to tell him that he loved her. So, in reality, we are left with very few animals that we do not have proof of their feelings, "he explains.

He has mentioned the octopuses and I have the feeling that when we eat them in Galician we do not know that their little houses are made on the bottom of the sea. "So is. They make them with coconuts to hide. In aquariums, if they get angry with their caretakers, they hide in their homes and when they pass they throw a jet of water to annoy them ». Well I have to say that, with everything, I have less empathy with them, but when I see the gorillas in the zoo I shudder. «It does not surprise me. It is inhumane, an atrocity how we have animals in zoos. To the apes, to the elephants, we know that they have an intelligence and an ability to feel amazing … I believe that it will be increasingly intolerable for people to admit this type of places ».

People believe us above animals. And maybe it has to do with the fact that we are aware of death and it is possible that they do not. "It is very difficult to know what death means to them. But we know what they feel when they are sick. Recently, a chimpanzee, who was dying in Berlin, when he saw his caregiver after many years sat in his arms. The same was the product of weakness, of feeling that something was not going well, without knowing the transcendence of what was going to happen next, we do not know. What we do know is what they feel when they see someone else die. And it's a lot of pain. Days are thrown without wanting to eat. Some allow themselves to die of starvation … Mothers take great care of the young when they are sick, but when it comes to death, we know nothing, except by deduction. " Maybe if they do not know about death they are happier, but I have always believed that my dog ​​suffered when I left because I did not know if I would return. «At first they suffer, yes. The anxiety of the separation … Then they learn that they are short periods and they relax ".

The pain of the bulls

Those who should not relax at all are the bulls, I say. "We know a lot about this because we have several indicators, such as pressure increases, pupils dilate and those are signs of pain too. When they are injured their body makes contractions, but before, from the first moment, the excitement, exhaustion and anxiety they suffer are obvious ». And it seems to me that we all notice it, even if we do not want to assume it.

Nor do we want to see that, surely, any insect suffers with a killer spray. «Well, in principle, all animals that have a nervous system have the capacity to feel. And some insects have it. So if we throw them caustic soda, for example, in the antennae they twist in pain ». And they lie, like us? «And so much. The capuchin monkeys when a crab is found and they want to keep it for themselves emit a false alarm signal so that others believe that a jaguar or an eagle is coming ». Well, like politicians … "Sometimes they remind me …"

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